Press Releases

Monday, June 12, 2023

Highmark and United Concordia Dental to provide free onsite dental services in underserved Pa. communities

Three summer mobile dental tours will crisscross Pennsylvania  caring for more than 1,000 children, young adults and senior Pennsylvanians

PITTSBURGH (June 12, 2023)  Highmark Inc. and Highmark Wholecare are major sponsors of United Concordia Dental’s mobile dental tours providing free onsite dental services — including exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments — to underserved communities throughout Pennsylvania this summer. These mobile dental tours are intended to address health access concerns for pediatric, young adult and senior Pennsylvanians.

“We are sponsoring these free dental clinics because we know that no matter what your age, dental health is important to overall health,” said William Rayball, vice president of Government Quality, Highmark Inc. “We also know that vulnerable populations such as seniors and children face multiple barriers to getting dental care, so we are meeting them where they are and are providing services free of charge.”  

The mobile dental unit uses volunteer dentists and dental hygienists from United Concordia’s network to provide an array of dental services, including oral cancer screenings. If additional care is needed in additional to onsite services, referrals will be provided. Dental services for each tour require pre-registration.

Healthy Smiles and More Tour

The “Healthy Smiles and More Tour” kicks off June 7 in Erie and ends June 27 in Philadelphia. The mobile dental unit will make stops in 14 locations throughout Pennsylvania in addition to Erie and Philadelphia. The tour is available to adults aged 55 and older and stops will include additional health services and resources, which will vary depending on location. The Pennsylvania Office of Aging, Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, Allegheny Health Network and Wellspan are participating on the tour with Highmark Wholecare. Other tour stops include Beaver Falls (June 8), Pittsburgh (June 9-10), Uniontown (June 12), Altoona (June 15), Gettysburg (June 16), Harrisburg (June 17 and 19) and Lancaster (June 21).

“Highmark Wholecare is a mission-driven, community-based managed care organization dedicated to caring for the total health of our members,” said Dr. Robert Thielen, dental director, Highmark Wholecare. “With the recent end of the Public Health Emergency, we are encouraging a return to in-person care visits. United Concordia Dental’s mobile tours help eliminate barriers to care that sometimes make in-person visits challenging.”

Healthy Smiles for Miles

Through the “Healthy Smiles for Miles” tours scheduled for July and August, United Concordia expects to provide onsite dental services to more than 500 children and youth aged 20 years and younger, as well as senior Pennsylvanians. In total, the Healthy Smiles for Miles tour will reach 19 different locations across 10 different cities, including Pittsburgh (July 10-11 and August 7-8), York (July 12 and August 12), Harrisburg (July 13 and August 10-11), Reading (July 14-15 and August 18-19), Allentown (July 17 and August 21), Irwin (August 9), Lancaster (August 14-15), Lebanon (August 16-17) and Bethlehem (August 22).

Oral health suffered during the pandemic. In 2021, the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute surveyed a group of dentists and more than 30 percent said their patients had more cavities and gum disease than before the pandemic. That same year, The New York Times reported that the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, found that six million adults lost their dental insurance because of the pandemic, and more than one in 10 had delayed getting care because of cost, lack of insurance, fear of exposure to the virus or a combination of those factors.

“As a leading national dental solutions organization, we know that the health of the mouth is connected to the health of the body, and consistent preventive care of your mouth, teeth and gums throughout every life stage can lead to better overall wellbeing,” said Roosevelt Allen, DDS, MAGD, ABGD, chief dental officer, United Concordia Dental. “We are pleased Highmark, Inc., and Highmark Wholecare are sponsoring the Healthy Smiles tours for communities across Pennsylvania to help residents in need be their healthiest.”

About Highmark Inc.
One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of approximately 7 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit

About Highmark Wholecare
We believe in caring for the whole person in all communities where the need is greatest. We see a future in which everyone has equal opportunity to achieve their best health. Through our leading Medicaid and Medicare programs, we are coordinating health care that goes beyond doctors and medicine that helps members achieve not just physical health, but also delivers whole person care. Our team members are helping to drive this new kind of health care for our 410,000 Medicaid and Medicare members in collaboration with a network of 29,000 primary care physicians, specialists, hospitals, and other ancillary providers. We are also committed to supporting our neighbors through our many community outreach and engagement programs.

About United Concordia Dental
United Concordia Dental is a leading national dental solutions partner focused on providing access to high-quality, affordable dental care. Headquartered in Camp Hill, Pa., the company has more than 9.5 million members, one of the nation's largest dentist networks, an AM Best “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and licensed entities in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam. United Concordia is committed to providing remarkable experiences to our customers, with a focus on enhancing their total health. For more information about United Concordia, visit

For more information, contact

John Pepper                    
Highmark Wholecare